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ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U)
ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8
See Top Ranked Wi-Fi Routers

ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) vs ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8

Analysis:

The ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) is one of the very best Wi-Fi Routers that one can get for around $180. The ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8, however, while a very good choice at its $420 price point, falls just short of being remarkable.

The ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) has impressed reviewers from two sources that are among the most highly trusted on the internet, namely PCmag and CNET. It did great in their objective hands-on roundups - it earned the "Best for Gamers With Limited Budgets" and "Best gaming router" awards from PCmag and CNET, respectively. That's high praise from such reputable sources.

As for the ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8, it was really well-received by reviewers at PCmag, a reliable source that's known for conducting its own, high-quality, in-depth testing. It performed great in its "The Best Wi-Fi Mesh Network Systems for 2020" roundup and was named its "Best for High-End Features", which, on its own, makes it a product that warrants a closer look.

We analyzed all of the review data that we could find on these two Wi-Fi Routers. First, we examined sources that tested and scored both of these products - PCmag favored the ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 over the ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U), whereas reviewers at Techradar haven't shown a preference for either.

Then we took a look at which sources liked them the most - we found that the ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) was best received by Techradar - it gave it a score of 10, whereas the ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 got its highest score of 10 from reviewers at Techradar.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Wi-Fi Routers on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Wi-Fi Routers being 7.4 out of 10, whereas the ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) and ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 managed averages of 8.6 and 9.5 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U) vs. ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
CNET
PCmag
Tom's Guide
Techradar
TechSpot
Android Central
Windows Central
Lifewire
T3
Gadget Review
Tech. Specs Comparison
ASUS AC2900 (RT-AC86U)
$189
ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8
$431
Mesh Router
No
Yes
Supported Frequency Ranges
  • 2.4 GHz
  • 5 GHz
  • 2.4 GHz
  • 5 GHz
Wi-Fi standard
Wi-Fi 5
Wi-Fi 6
Higher than average expert review score
7.4
Overall Avg. for Wi-Fi Routers
8.6
Avg. Review Score
Score
Significantly higher than average expert review score
7.4
Overall Avg. for Wi-Fi Routers
9.5
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best gaming routers of 2020” 
Last updated: 9 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Gaming Routers for 2020” 
Last updated: 29 Jun 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Asus router 2020: the top Asus routers for any budget” 
Last updated: 5 Aug 2020
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best gaming routers in 2020” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The best gaming routers 2020” 
Last updated: 18 Aug 2020
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best gaming router
in “The best Wi-Fi routers in 2020” 
Last updated: 8 days ago
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best gaming router
in “The best Wi-Fi routers of 2020” 
Last updated: 17 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Routers for Best Buy Curbside Pickup in 2020” 
Last updated: 25 Mar 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best VPN routers 2020: top routers for Virtual Private Networks” 
Last updated: 12 May 2020
Recommended by trusted experts
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Wi-Fi Mesh Network Systems for 2020” 
Last updated: 5 Jun 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best wireless routers 2020: the best Wi-Fi for your home network” 
Last updated: 6 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Speeds
in “Best Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Routers in 2020” 
Last updated: 18 Aug 2020
Windows Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best fast mesh
in “Best Wi-Fi 6 Router in 2020” 
Last updated: 27 Jul 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best mesh Wi-Fi routers 2020: the best wireless mesh routers for large homes” 
Last updated: a month ago

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